Wildfire season in Alberta started in March 1 even as people continue to shovel snow and scrape windshields.
“Fire permits are now required for any burning, except campfires, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta,” says Leah Lovequist wildfire information officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
“Fire permits help us track what is burning on the landscape.”
People are reminded that a permit is vital.
“If you’re burning without a fire permit or outside fire permit conditions, your fire is considered a wildfire,” Lovequist says.
“By getting a fire permit you help keep our firefighters free to fight real wildfires instead of responding to the smoke in your backyard.”
More than 68 tickets and written warnings were given to Albertans last year for burning without a permit and leaving campfires unattended, says a news release from the provincial government.
Free fire permits can be requested from any Agriculture and Forestry office, locally in High Prairie and Slave Lake and Wabasca.
“The protection of Albertans and their communities is one of our highest priorities and our firefighters will be ready to fight wildfires when they start,” says Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier, MLA for Whitecourt – Ste. Anne.
“We are ready, but we need every Albertan’s help; we’re asking everyone to do their part in preventing fires.”
Firefighters and support staff are training and preparing equipment and aircraft to be fully operational for the fire season.
More than 100 firefighters are working across the province and more are being added every week to ensure that proper resources are in place and the province is fully prepared for a fire.
Last fire season, 1,231 fires burned more than 49,000 hectares in Alberta. From March 1 to October 31 last year, 789 wildfires were caused by humans.
More than 68 tickets and written warnings were given to Albertans last year for burning without a permit and leaving campfires unattended.
If you see a wildfire burning in the forest, report it toll-free at 310-FIRE (3473).
For more information, phone offices in High Prairie at (780) 523-6619, Slave Lake at (780) 849-7377 or Wabasca at (780) 891-3860.